In 1974, at the age of 19, Doris Drugdealer was arrested for selling $200 worth of heroin to an undercover police officer in Michigan. She received a 10-20 year prison sentence for this crime. After serving about eight months of her sentence, she decided that she could not tolerate prison, and with the help of her grandfather, plotted an escape. She used a work pass to walk away from prison. In May, 2008, after 34 years, Doris was captured again by detectives who matched fingerprints from her driver’s license to her prison records.
Doris said that in 1974 she was a “stupid little …hippie-ish girl…a pothead.” During the 34 years that Doris evaded prison, she worried everyday that she would be caught. While looking at a sunset, she would marvel at her freedom and wonder if the past would catch up with her. She was very careful to lead the life of a model citizen and even volunteered for Common Cause, an organisation that promotes government ethics and accountability. She married an executive and had three children and lived a comfortable life in an upper middle class neighbourhood in California. She never told her family about her past.
Her husband of 23 years stated that he loved his wife as much as the day they were married. He stated she was a “person of the highest integrity and compassion”, and had dedicated her life to raising her children. She taught her children to be responsible citizens and to avoid drugs. Her husband said that the arrest “was the next worst thing to having a death in the family.” Doris worried about the effect of her arrest on her son, who had just graduated from high school, and her older daughters. A neighbour commented that sending Doris back to prison would not be useful to society.
Undercover drug officers believed that Doris had connections to “higher ups” in the drug world, and was a teenage leader in a 1970s drug ring. They found $600 in her apartment, paraphernalia for cutting heroin and pictures of her with other drug...